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Police Question Motives of UCLA Gunman Who Murdered Wife, Professor


The motives of former University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), graduate student who killed a professor, his estranged wife and then himself are being questioned amid allegations that another professor may also have been on his “kill list.”  It is now known that Mainak Sarkar’s first victim was his estranged wife, Ashley Hasti, who was living in Minnesota. Ashley was a medical student who was remembered as a fan of stand-up comedy and loving sister and friend.

Sarkar killed engineering professor William Klug at UCLA, marking the second victim on what police have called Sarkar’s kill list. Sarkar was convinced that Klug, his former professor, stole software that he had developed. Police have already concluded that Sarkar’s claim was completely false.

In 2014, Sarkar had praised Klug as a mentor on a public blog post. But two years later in 2016, he posted a scathing attack on Klug, stating:


 My name is Mainak Sarkar. I was this guy’s Ph. D student. We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick.

Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust.

Stay away from this sick guy.

Little is known about why Sarkar killed Hasti. The two lived together in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Her murder was not known until they found a note from Sarkar pointing them to his home near St. Paul. Hasti had been killed for some time when she was discovered, according to police. The second professor, who was not on campus at the time, was also involved in Sarkar’s allegations.

Sarkar married Hasti in 2011, according to their marriage license. Hasti has an active Facebook page, but the page has no photos of Sarkar since May of 2011. Sarkar’s own Facebook page has no publicly posted information since 2011, but does display photographs of the two together.

Questions about in the case of Sarkar, who is from the eastern state of West Bengal, India. Sarkar graduated from the well-regarded Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur in 2000, with expertise in aerospace engineering.

As has become typical in shooting cases, associates of Sarkar expressed shock and disbelief about his actions. “My initial reaction was one of shock and disbelief,” said Gautam Biswas, one of Sarkar’s high school teachers at St. Michael’s School in Durgapur, West Bengal. “How could he do this? That was the question that racked my mind for long hours.”

One reporter tweeted that Sarkar was “despondent” over his grades, which may have contributed to his mental state. It is unknown whether he had any problems with mental illness. Sarkar got his Master’s degree at Stanford before attending the PhD program at UCLA.

Klug was married and has two young children. His research group at UCLA was “primarily interested in theoretical and computational biomechanics.” Klug was well known as a little league coach in El Segundo. A Go Fund Me page has been setup by the people of El Segundo to help Klug’s family.



  1. Ke says:

    He looks like a nut job.

  2. anonymous says:

    what a jerk.

  3. anonymous1 says:

    He should’ve just killed himself. Sorry.

  4. Another1 says:

    I donated to help the family. You should too it is an awful thing.

  5. Extreme Smithy says:

    San Bernardino is a wonderful community and this is heartbreaking.

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